For the past few months, after a long day of trimming I was noticing my right hip would be quite sore. In some cases, I was able to slip on my running shoes and go for an easy jog to straighten everything out. In others, heat, ice and Motrin were required. Over the Christmas holidays, I went a week and a half without trimming any horses, and I didn’t have any hip pain. When I returned, I trimmed only 3 horses in one day and the pain had returned.
As a hoof trimmer, I frequently see horses that have a twist in their leg, an abnormality in their gait, or are not able to stand with their feet square. In some cases, you can look at the hoof from above and see that the horse is wearing the toe unevenly or the hoof has an asymmetrical flare. In other cases, everything looks fine from above, but an inspection of the hoof from below reveals uneven heel height and/or length. All of these issues are due to a lack of Balance in the hoof. Sometimes, I am able to restore Balance to the hoof and correct the problems. Sometimes, the horse has lived with the imbalance for so long, restoring Balance actually causes pain because the horse has adapted to the imbalance and relies on it.
Initially, I believed the pain in my hip had something to do with my stance while working on horses. But then it occurred to me, that my body was simply out of Balance. Furthermore, the boots I wore to trim in sat idle during my vacation. A quick inspection of my boots revealed that the soles and heels in particular are worn unevenly on the boots I wear when trimming. To further determine if this was the source of my pain, I wore a new pair of hunting boots when trimming 12 horses on Saturday. I came home without any hip pain.
Balance is important in our lives. Imbalances in our body lead to pain. If you live with the imbalance long enough, your body will compensate with a limp, uneven shoulder height, twist in your seat, or some other mechanism. An imbalance in our body leads to an imbalance in the saddle, and negatively affects our horse. Balance is also important in our relationships, finances, and mental health. As we start the new year, many people are making resolutions, but frequently do so without Balance, which is not healthy.
This year, I will strive for Balance.